An employee handbook can serve as both an important part of retention as well as ensuring compliance with federal and state laws. Companies of all sizes should have an appropriately scaled handbook for a number of reasons, the primary one being consistency. With an effective handbook all employees are given the same information and a consistent message from executive management.
An employee handbook establishes the basic employment policies that apply to your employees and advises them on what they can expect from the leadership team. Employees need and want to have a clear set of guidelines to follow, such as, what is expected of them and where to go when they have questions.
The handbook is also a critical tool to ensure that all of your employees have been given notice of their legal rights and obligations. Further, from a legal standpoint, an employee handbook is the best documentary evidence that employees were adequately notified of these policies. In fact, the lack of a handbook can be used to show that the employer did NOT give employees notice of the company rules and guidelines.
The handbook can help to showcase and promote all of the company benefits provided to the employee. It is an excellent way to ensure staff knows about policies and eligibility requirements. It’s important to ensure that a company not only has a handbook, but that it is up-to-date, easy to access for all employees, well written and legally compliant. Handbooks should be reviewed yearly and updated as needed.
If you need assistance creating a new handbook or reviewing your current one, PBO’s HR team is here to help.
Laura Nieman, PHR, HR and Operations Manager